Volume 29 - Article 36 | Pages 949–962 Editor's Choice

Youth prospects in a time of economic recession

By Arnstein Aassve, Elena Cottini, Agnese Vitali

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Date received:01 Mar 2013
Date published:12 Nov 2013
Word count:2445
Keywords:crisis, deprivation, poverty, transition to adulthood


Background: The paper gives an update to earlier analysis considering youth poverty and transition to adulthood, which is timely given the economic crisis engulfing many countries in Europe. Whereas the crisis is affecting young people in particular, there is also a certain degree of variation across Europe.

Objective: We document the short-term consequences of the current recession on the transition to adulthood of young Europeans, focusing on two main cornerstones in the transition to adulthood: economic independence and residential autonomy.

Methods: We use a combination of OECD Employment Statistics for 2012 and micro-level data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for the period 2005-2011 for 24 countries.

Results: We document an increase in economic hardship experienced by young adults in several European countries during the recession, which is starting to translate into higher rates of co-residence with parents, hence delaying the process of leaving home and gaining economic independence.

Conclusions: The way countries are reacting to the recession is not yet clear-cut, but economic uncertainty and deprivation is on the rise in those countries hardest hit, which is likely to delay the key markers of transition to adulthood.

Author's Affiliation

Arnstein Aassve - Università Bocconi, Italy [Email]
Elena Cottini - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy [Email]
Agnese Vitali - Università degli Studi di Trento, Italy [Email]

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